A new comprehensive study on the effects of marijuana use and driving has demonstrated that the use of marijuana has far less impact on driving than does the use of alcohol. Despite the fact that the emerging science suggests that drivers can use marijuana and operate their vehicles safely, the DUI laws in Michigan treat marijuana as being equal to or even more dangerous than alcohol.
Part of the reason for this disparity is that the public policy behind Michigan’s DUI laws are mired in many of the archaic misapprehensions that historically existed about marijuana and its impact on driving. Now that recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan for those above 21 years of age, a rational discussion of what, if any, effect marijuana has on driving is long overdue. To address this issue, Michael A. White and Nicholas R. Burns, preformed a meta-analysis on over 17 available marijuana studies to clarify the actual relationship between marijuana, specifically active THC, and driving.
Their study: The risk of being culpable for or involved in a road crash after using cannabis: A systematic review and meta-analyses, published in Drug Science, Policy and Law, concluded that it is likely that marijuana does not actually cause more accidents than the normal rate of accidents occurring by all drivers. To get to this determination, they used a process called meta-analysis, which is the review of previously published studies to obtain a more comprehensive result than any single study is capable of. For this analysis, they used 17 studies conducted between 1982 and 2020. These studies were conducted in several countries by different researchers with differing results. White and Burns then their own testing methodology in an effort to control for inherent biases in the prior studies.